Knowledge Management and MOSS
One of the areas that MOSS really shines (from a business perspective) is Knowledge Management. In some sense, KM is all about getting to known, useful information. The ROI in KM systems is easy to justify... getting to relevant data in a fast and efficient way and re-using it as part of your normal work processes means more things get done in less time. The challenge in most organizations is the implementation. Collaboration is a wonderful (and yet somewhat scary!) thing from a corporate perspective. It is very hard to manage and control. However, KM, in its truest form, is all about letting folks contribute and discover. It's about making it easier to find the “right” document or person to help you perform a task better, faster and more consistently. A good KM system balances freedom with structure. So, how does MOSS help?...
1. Blogs - Not all useful information is structured in documents. As the internet model has shown, blogs can be an effective means of communicating very specific detail in small bursts. From a KM perspective, they map well to executive messaging, practice area thought leadership, project team diaries and even personal profiling. MOSS supports blog through the use of a blog template. The interface is simple and familiar. Most importantly, the data is searchable.
2. Wikis - Blogs are great for individual contributions. Wikis extend the notion of unstructured sharing by allow a community to “build” something. Participants can add detail or create new sections. Again, this is familiar territory for those who have used wikis on the internet or through 3rd party commercial tools. Like blogs, MOSS supports wiki templates. Again, simple and searchable.
3. RSS Enablement - RSS is a great way to aggregate data from a source and give a quick snapshot. Today, folks use RSS feeds from news agencies and industry data sources to get a high level view of top stories. MOSS allows it content to be RSS enabled. This means it is easier to show aggregate corporate information in the same fashion. This is a powerful way to promote top stories to the organization or communities.
4. Enterprise Search - It's great to collect the data but if it goes unfound the system is useless. MOSS offers a much improved search engine for better access to the data stored in the sources above as well as the traditional internal and external sources. Provided you have made the proper investment (in time) of tagging your content, enterprise search can add tremendous value in allowing employees to uncover and discover relevant corporate content.
5. Social Networking - This is probaly the least known (yet potentially most powerful) new feature of MOSS. Social Networking has become a very popular term. It's all about profiling and find things or people based on those profiles. MOSS has a component called the Knowledge Network that helps employees build personal profiles so the community can more easily find experts. You can get details at http://blogs.msdn.com/kn/. This is a huge step from a KM perspective in terms of getting everyone involved in the KM effort.